My Foundation Story: Paul

  • After the Kickstart scheme launched, there was a 547,000 increase in payrolled employees aged under 25 years
  • 84% of young people do not feel able to pursue their passions
  • 39% of hiring managers said the main problem they had hiring young people was a lack of experience

We’re excited to introduce you to Paul, who is currently working on a Kickstart placement with CBRE – the maintenance team at The Stoop. Having previously worked as a kitchen porter, Paul found himself lacking the experience he needed to get into a role that suited him, and unable to gain that experience without working for free. I wanted to work in something hands-on like plumbing or electrics.

“I met Andy, The Foundation’s manager, at the Jobcentre. He gave me the option to work as part of the CBRE maintenance crew. Getting this job was friendlier, and easier, than any other jobs I applied to. Other jobs didn’t even get back to me.”

Paul’s experience applying to jobs mirrors that of many young people trying to enter the workplace today. Even entry level positions are becoming increasingly inaccessible to young people at the beginning of their careers. They make it very hard to get into companies these days. It’s an entry level position, but you need years of experience – it just makes no sense.” Just like thousands of young people on Universal Credit, Paul found himself unable to get a job for this exact reason.

Thanks to Kickstart, Paul has been able to gain the experience he needs to progress into the career he wants, while being paid for it. “In the short time I’ve been here, I’ve learned a lot. It’s definitely good experience.

“I never knew how much goes into looking after the stadium. There are so many different sectors, so many people working. It has been exciting to see how it works. And they’re letting me learn in my own way.”

Paul’s employer, Steve, has benefited almost as much as Paul from his Kickstart placement. “He’s the additional resource that I’ve always wanted. There wasn’t a job posting because of budgets, but there was definitely a role available.

“He’s a very popular part of the team now.”

Not only does he work well with his team – Paul goes above and beyond. If you attend matchdays at The Stoop, you may see Paul helping wherever he can. “, or if a couple of cleaners need help to move bins, I’ll do that. I’m happy to help anyone else. So far on matchdays, I’ve just been doing a bit of everything.”

Paul is now looking ahead to the future – and he wants to take on an apprenticeship once he finishes his Kickstart placement. “Kickstart is a good push, a good little jump. It’s only 6 months, so it doesn’t take up too much time. And at the end of the 6 months you could get a full-time job, or if not you’re a hundred percent going to leave with experience. I think it’s worth it.

“By now I probably still wouldn’t have found a job. So Harlequins and The Harlequins Foundation have really helped.”

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